During a Monday afternoon stop in St. Louis, rapper Spose (a.k.a. Ryan Peters), currently on tour with MC Lars and MC Chris, stopped at barbecue restaurant Pappy’s Smokehouse for lunch with his friends, collaborators and tour mates, DJs and producers Jay Caron and Channing Day and road manager Chadd Wilner. They parked their tour van outside the restaurant and were gone for 30 minutes.
When they got back into their vehicle, they found that all of their equipment — laptops, mixers, controllers, microphones, iPads, cameras, cell phones, money, even clothes and other personal items — had been stolen. Everything, including an external hard drive that contained beats and recordings for Spose’s planned 2015 album, was gone. In total, more than $30,000 was stolen.
Peters and his tour mates were understandably devastated. A police report and insurance claims were filed before the four made their way to their next tour stop in Kansas.
“We filed a police report and changed passwords and called State Farm but nothing can replace what we lost,” said Peters, on his Facebook wall. “We were in the restaurant for 30 minutes, and they essentially took my job, all the work I had done for the past two years building up to 2015.”
Though Spose is well-known in New England and is one of the most successful musicians in Maine, he, like most independent artists, struggles to make ends meet and make his music his career. He is also recently married and the father to a young daughter. A setback like this can negatively impact a career for years to come.
“I lost everything I’ve worked so hard and sacrificed to earn over the past 6 years. My insurance can only cover a small amount. So we’re basically back at square one,” said Peters. “I run a small business. I pay taxes. I reinvest every dollar I make into either my family or furthering my business.”
Not to stand back as Spose and company suffered such a loss, fans of the Maine rapper quickly set up an online fundraiser to help them replace what was taken from them. Adam Fishman, head of Spose’s fan network, the Spose Army, created a Go Fund Me fundraiser at around 6 p.m. Monday night. By 11 a.m. Tuesday, more than $7,000 of the asked-for $15,000 had been raised.
“I’m so thankful that so many people recognize how devastating a loss this is for us,” said Peters. “And I’m so thankful for all the support and the kind words and actions from people all over the country and the world in the past 24 hours… I have always tried to be there to help people in their time of need and I’m so thankful that so many of you have returned the favor in the past day.”